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Can We Eat Papaya During Periods - Research Backed - Bodywise

Unripe papaya is considered dangerous for consumption during pregnancy as it causes natural abortion. But is it ok to eat papaya during periods? Click to know.

4 min read
Can We Eat Papaya During Periods - Research Backed - Bodywise

Can We Eat Papaya During Periods?

Papaya is a healthy tropical fruit. It is rich in phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates (polysaccharides), proteins, fibers, enzymes, glycosides, and flavonoids. It contains a host of vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B9 (folate), vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

As per research, papaya is loaded with many bioactive components that are great for the human body. Taking this fruit daily can benefit you in many ways:

  • Improves digestion and prevents gas formation
  • Prevents constipation and relieves chronic constipation
  • Effective as an alternative medicine for stomach ailments
  • Has antioxidant and anti-ageing properties
  • It is antimicrobial, meaning it fights against bacteria and germs
  • Has anti-cancer properties due to the presence of lycopene
  • Protects liver
  • Builds immunity

Despite having these fantastic qualities, it is generally believed that papaya should be avoided during periods and pregnancy. So, can we eat papaya during periods? Let us find out if papaya is safe to eat during periods and pregnancy and the potential side effects of enjoying the fruit at this time.

Is it ok to eat papaya during periods? The answer is not straightforward. Here you need to know that there are two types of papaya, ripe papaya and unripe or semi-ripe. Ripe papayas are orange in color, and unripe or semi-ripe ones are green on the outside and white inside. Depending on the type of papaya you want to eat, the answer can be a yes or a no.

As per research, unripe or semi-ripe papaya is not safe to eat during pregnancy and periods. It was found that unripe or semi-ripe papayas cause spasmodic contractions of the uterus, similar to the contractions produced by the hormone oxytocin.

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Uterus contractions are mainly because of an enzyme called papain in the juices (latex) of unripe papaya, known to cause miscarriage or natural abortion in women. This is why unripe or semi-ripe papaya is not safe to consume during pregnancy.

Researchers, however, concluded that eating ripe papaya is safe during menstrual periods and pregnancy and does not cause any harm to the growing baby or the uterus.

As per a study, there are several side effects of eating unripe or semi-ripe uncooked papaya:

  • Miscarriage
  • Natural abortion
  • Risk of post-implantation pregnancy failure
  • Damage or irregularities in the growing baby

The papain present causes these side effects in the raw, unripe fruit. The study revealed that papain causes pregnancy failure by inhibiting progesterone, a hormone responsible for preparing the uterine for a successful pregnancy. It also explained that papain in unripe papaya damages the fetus by destroying the vital membranes of the fetus.

But, can we eat ripe papaya during periods? Yes, ripe papaya is perfectly safe to eat during periods and pregnancy. It helps digestion and prevents constipation, a common side effect during pregnancy. If you eat ripe papaya during your periods, your body will get a good amount of nutrition, vitamins, and minerals. Simply avoid eating unripe or semi-ripe papaya during periods as the papain content in the fruit might increase menstrual pain due to increased uterine contractions.

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This apart, eating unripe papaya does not cause toxicity, uterine damage, or reproductive organ damage. That is why it is ok to consume unripe or semi-ripe papayas with precaution during your periods. You can always stop eating the fruit if you experience pain.

Eating papaya during periods have the following benefits:

  • Regularise your period cycle: Eating papaya may help prevent delayed, irregular, or short periods. The presence of lycopene, carotenoids, essential vitamins and minerals in papaya increases estrogen levels, a hormone responsible for regularizing the menstrual cycle.
  • Strengthen uterine muscles: Papaya improves blood flow to the uterus muscles and makes them efficient.

So, Can We Eat Papaya During Periods?

While papaya during periods is safe, it is sensible to take a few precautions. Unripe papaya contains the papain enzyme, which is known to increase uterine contractions and cause menstrual pain and discomfort. If you notice any pain or discomfort after consuming papaya, stop immediately. In a nutshell, yes, you can eat ripe papaya during periods, but it’s best to avoid unripe papaya during periods.



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